We are Amy and Gail Shingler, sisters-in-law and friends!

We are passionate about living authentic and intentional lives!

We are enthusiastic about healthy eating!

We created a space to share our favorite recipes & the life philosophies from which they stem!

Our desire is to inspire,

may you be edified by what you read here!

Friday, August 31, 2012

molasses cookies

i simply mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and shape the dough into uniform size balls and bake!  martha stewart and the barefoot contessa would have you mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then mix the flax seeds or flax meal with water in yet another bowl and let it sit for a minute before blending it in, and then they would have you roll the dough in parchment or saran wrap and put it in the fridge for an hour or so until it firms up...i can't wait that long!  here are the ingredients, anything you do above and beyond following my example of tossing everything in the same bowl at the same time will surely make yours that much better!  bake at 350 degrees from 8-10 minutes, watch your cookies closely!  take them out when they don't seem quite cooked yet, soft to the touch, they will cool and 'harden' but have a chewy center...if you like your cookies crispy, leave them in to bake a bit longer! (you can also add vegan chocolate chips or nuts if you like!)

  • 1 TBS flax seeds or flaxmeal, this replaces the egg and binds the ingredients
  • 3 TBS water
  • 2 TBS molasses
  • 1/3 CUP sunflower (or other vegetable) oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar (i use brown, you can use cane or date or maple sugar, try different ones)
  • 1 CUP flour (i use Arrowhead Mills Sprouted Wheat, but any flour will do!)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of salt

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"if i ruled the world" ........Hahahahahahaha!

If you really knew your own potential to feel good, you would ask no one to be different just so that you could feel good. You would ask no one else to change simply for your comfort. You would free yourself of all of that cumbersome needing to control the world, or control your mate, or control your child. You are the only one who creates your reality. For no one else can think for you, no one else can do it. It is only you, every bit of it you. 
Esther Hicks paraphrased

I had a conversation with one of my children who complained that a certain time period he recently spent away from home went from "great" to "blah"...i asked why the "blah" part was "blah"...after he explained, we talked about how in many situations we can't change the circumstances we are in so we have to change the way we LOOK AT and REACT TO the circumstances...THAT is difficult and is really a discipline, creating the habit by using that time to work on patience or to find something to be grateful for in the midst of your "blah" or "grrrr" situation...the sweeter scenario is being in those situations and realizing there ARE things you can do to change them!  in my child's particular "blah" circumstances, he actually had complete control of the 'specifics' and if he had been THINKING instead of letting negative emotions get the better of him, the time might never have moved from "great" to "blah."  though i'm sure this wasn't a 'new' concept to him (knowing i have repeated it and ideas like it since he was tiny!) it settled into him deeper this time...he walks around the house now, making decisions, then yelling crazily, "TAKIN' CONTROL OF MY LIFE!"  he's being silly when he says it but he's also creating a habit that will serve him well for the rest of his days!  it is exciting and fun for this mom to watch!

One area of our lives over which we have complete control is our physical health.  Common ailments and diseases such as colds, ear infections, sinus infections, allergies, migraines, diabetes, arthritis, even physical pain due to anxiety, stress, depression or unchangeable life, family or work circumstances can be managed or eliminated by eating nourishing, healing foods.  

my life is no different from anyone else's; trauma and tragedy strike, "life gets me down," i am susceptible to those cold germs left on door handles, the bank account dwindles before all is paid for or there is no money left for "luxuries"...but for a long time now, after practicing, after discipline, after securing the habit in place, i am in control of my life...i can walk into the pain of trauma trusting all will be o.k., i can choose to focus on the positives in my life and not the negatives, i can even see the negatives not as negatives at all, but as opportunities, i can eat something healing when i feel my body weaken from what's currently "going around," i can go for a hike or play a board game with my kids or have a meaningful, intimate conversation with my husband when there is no money for luxuries like movies and dinners out...it turns out 'poverty' ignites creativity and leaves a HUGE space for depth and passion and meaning in one's life and relationships and you come to realize it is not 'poverty' at all!  

it is liberating to take control of your life, but it is scary at first if it is not your habit...if i want to be like the bird who chooses to stay in one place, it is because i can, not for any other reason...and i CAN stay in one place because i can also 'fly anywhere on the earth' and i know that i WILL if it is what i want or need to do!  i don't need to rule the world, or rule over my mate, or over my children because i actually DO rule ME and MY world, and it turns out that is ALL you need to be truly happy, content, inspired, creative, passionate, and loving.

May you truly know your potential for feeling good, for letting go, for allowing others to just BE, for taking control of your life, for changing circumstances when you can and for looking at them differently when you can't...may you learn to be your own best friend, may you know what it is to TRUST that LIFE is on your side! 


Sunday, August 26, 2012

kids! dinner!

not kidding!  this was our dinner tonight!  in honor of amy's mom's birthday, we too made amy's chocolate peanut butter pie, i figured there wouldn't be enough to go around of just one pie considering all the sweet little mouths in amy's home (unless she presented the pie as a gift to her mom, alone, in which case, her mom got a big enough piece!)   :)  they are actually too far away for us to share!  :(

my kids like raw spinach leaves, a superfood, and the fresh berries compliment the chocolate, the pie is full of nutrients because nothing has been cooked out, just blend and freeze!  this recipe is RAW and NUTRITIOUS and DECADENT!  (below are my alterations due to things on hand versus not on hand!)  see amy's complete recipe in the post below this one!

  • i used 1 cup (equal thirds) walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts for the crust
  • my 'pudding' center is (in a blender) 3 avocados, 1  1/4cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, 1  1/4cup + 2 Tablespoons raw agave/maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract and almost 1 cup chocolate hazelnut milk
  • i also used a springform pan for easy pie to plate transfer
  • i didn't add chocolate chips, i knew it was going to be sweet enough!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to my mommy!  Today is my mother's birthday and in her honor I am making her a  peanut butter and chocolate mousse pie with a date nut crust.  I am queen of "Fast and tasty" so fasten your seat belts.  When I make this pie it is gone within minutes.

1 Cup Dates, pitted
1/3 cup Walnuts
1/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup almonds
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Pkg. Silken Lite Tofu
2 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave

Bottom Layer:
1/4 - 1/3 cup Peanut Butter 
1/4 cup Chocolate Chips, chopped
Blend crust ingredients in food processor. Press crust into pie pan. Blend filling ingredients in blender.  Slather a layer of peanut butter along bottom of crust.  Drop a few chocolate chips on top of peanut butter if desired.  Pour the mousse filling on top of the peanut butter. Top with chopped Chocolate chips or mini choclate chips. Freeze then serve. 

Happy Birthday to a woman who has given me life and direction.  She has taught me how to smile, has reminded me more than once "the best is yet to come", and I am pretty sure I inherited her love of chocolate.  I love you mom!

Hot Potato

Alrighty!  I started back to work and I have had to rely on my easy go to meals that I can make quickly with little energy or delegate out to the troops.  One of those is baked potatoes or yams.  Since it is still summer, who wants to tum on the oven for an hour?  So in the morning before I leave for work I clean the little spuds, wrap them in foil and pierce them with a fork.  I place them in a crock pot on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.  When I come home it is yummy warm baked spuds with a salad I can  make in my sleep.  Yippee!  Everyone gets to pick their favorite toppings and I can sleep at night knowing my kiddos bellies are...its a win-win!

Friday, August 24, 2012

ideas things people

"brilliant people talk about ideas
average people talk about things
small people talk about other people"

i have heard this quote many times before, but was reminded of it recently and it resonated with me more than it ever had.  in the last few days of conversations i have let it guide my contributions.  listening to the words of others, i am catching myself before i "chime in" where it is not life-giving or honoring of people.  i try to remain quiet when it is another who is "stuck" in talking about others, and sometimes my silence is and will be perceived as agreement, which is ok, because i am not concerned with what people think i think.  if people walk away from me with the thought that i have agreed when i actually said nothing at all, then that is where they are and that is where they are supposed to be, it is only my responsibility to be true to myself, not to move others to new or different places.  there are still topics that get me emotional enough that i walk down that small-minded, thoughtless road of talking about others, i am being disciplined to catch myself, to make new habits to replace old ones.  any new habit i create will never include my being "average," so that leaves out talking about things.  i want to be brilliant, i want to shine, i want to inspire and to delight, got any good ideas?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

apple pie and ice cream milkshake

                                                    photo courtesy of art shingler IV

i wasn't sure about this combination!  normally,  i'd rather eat a slice of pie a la mode than have it blended together like a challenge on SURVIVOR!  your taste buds will be shocked and delighted, I KNOW IT!  this is an unbelievable treat you'll never have expected!

  • 1 pint  COCONUT BLISS or SO DELICIOUS vanilla non-dairy dessert (in the freezer section with the healthier "ice cream" options)
  • 1 large apple, cored and cut in chunks
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder (easy to find at the health food store, but you can add a tsp. of vanila, or scrape the seeds out of a vanilla bean if you're adventurous and have tons of time!)
  • pinch of nutmeg (i add 2 pinches!)
  • 1 cup of your favorite milk OR if you want to get UBER-healthy about it, 1 cup of REJUVELAC for colon health, easily made at home or purchased, recipe follows...
BLEND EVERYTHING TOGETHER!  i also add a cup of ice, i like it cold!

recipe for REJUVELAC:  can be used for drink recipes, smoothies and 'milk'shakes, or as a 'starter' for nut and seed cheeses, and aids digestion!
    • 1 cup wheat berries, rye berries or quinoa (or a combination of any)
    • 1 quart water for soaking
    • 8-10 cups water

soak the grains for 1 day in 1 quart of water
drain water, pour berries into fine mesh strainer (over a bowl)
rinse berries in cool water up to 7 times a day for up to 3 days until they sprout
put sprouted berries in gallon container, add 8-10 cups water
cover with cheesecloth or gauze, but no lid
let sit 1-3 days, slight foam will develop on top
strain through cheesecloth
lasts 2-3 weeks in glass jars in fridge

decadent and nutty caramelized apple and pear oatmeal

my 17 year old son says this oatmeal tastes like one might find in a gourmet restaurant! 
(or  popular bed and breakfast) 
i agree!   

1/2-1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 apple cubed
1/2 pear cubed
1/4-1/2 cup hazelnuts or pecans or walnuts or almonds, your favorite nut!
3 cups milk, like hazelnut, almond, hemp, rice or coconut (plain or vanilla)
1 1/2 cups oats, they can be quick cooking or not, or steel cut
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons flax seeds or flaxmeal

heat coconut oil in medium saucepan
add chopped fruit, saute 5-7 minutes
add nuts, saute another 2-3 minutes
add 1 1/2 cups of oats, 3 cups milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, flax seeds or meal, and honey

cook on medium to low heat, stirring occasionally, until oatmeal reaches desired thickness
spoon into bowls, makes about 4 servings depending on your eaters, we add a little EARTH BALANCE coconut spread, a little extra hazelnut milk, and a drizzle of the BEST maple syrup, COOMB'S ORGANIC...enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

happy 100th birthday to the optimist's creed!

written in 1912 by christian d larson...BE WELL!

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. 
Talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. 
Make all your friends feel that there is something in them. 
Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. 
Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. 
Be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. 
Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. 
Wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. 
Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. 
Be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stunned Silence

So I was at the gym this morning talking to one of the trainers.  We were talking about bodies and I mentioned how it was so sad that I get out of the shower each day and see the negatives.  Another fellow gym goer walked by and said negativity?  What do you mean?  I told him I meant that I see all the things I don't like about myself.  And at that moment he said the most profound thing I have heard in a long time.  He asked a simple question..."Is that how you see other people?"  Stunned silence.  It took me back.  I would like to say NO, I see the beauty in each person, but the truth is it is easier for me to point out a fault than a praise.  Although I have tried to look at the positives and not spread any negative mumbo jumbo, I still have my pitfalls.  This question hit me...hard.  If I try to see the positives in others why do I not strive to see it in myself?  On top of that, am I truly, in an authentic way searching in each person to examine the beauty instead of exploiting the uglies.  I didn't answer him because I was struck by my own negative paralysis.  So, today I pose the question to myself as well as my friends and loved ones.  What do we see in other people? What are we searching out, the treasures that lie within each other or the trash?  I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I must change how I perceive myself and shift my vantage point.  Negativity can be like a vortex.  It can suck you in.  Optimism nourishes our souls as well as our bodies.   

Monday, August 20, 2012

feast on life!

acceptance, responsibility, defenselessness...
these are the ideas i walk toward everyday, the ideas that help me grow STRONG, the ideas that keep me open to adventure and that allow me to run, jump and play, to laugh LOUDLY and FREELY, the ideas that allow me to FEAST ON LIFE! 

1. I will practice Acceptance. Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur. I will know that this moment is as it should be, I will not struggle against this moment. My acceptance is total and complete. I accept things as they are this moment, not as I wish they were. 

2. Having accepted things as they are, I will take Responsibility for my situation and for all those events I see as problems. I know that taking responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for my situation (and this includes myself). I also know that every problem is an opportunity in disguise, and this alertness to opportunities allows me to take this moment and transform it into a greater benefit. 

3. Today my awareness will remain established in Defenselessness. I will relinquish the need to defend my point of view. I will feel no need to convince or persuade others to accept my point of view. I will remain open to all points of view and not be rigidly attached to any one of them. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Blythe Metz hosts Blythe Raw Live
a show about the benefits of rawfoods, 
natural living and environmental consciousness.
Her website http://www.blytheraw.com has oodles of information, endless articles, quick and easy tips and recipes, and links to other great sites and resources!
HULU has 6 episodes of her show, so helpful!

Friday, August 17, 2012


they look like hotdogs, they smell like hotdogs, they taste like hotdogs
a little ketchup, mustard and grilled onions
or chili and daiya brand pepperjack soy cheese melted on top!
we've tried them all, these are the best!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Macaroni & Not Cheese

My oldest daughter started Junior High today.  It quickly brought me back to the awkwardness and insecurities I remember feeling.  Of course, she handled the day gracefully and besides being a bit tired, she is cheery about the experience.  Whenever my children go through a "rite of passage" I find myself reminiscing.  Braces, big cable knit sweaters, Michael Jackson, and of course, big hair.  One of my favorite things to eat in Junior High was Macaroni and Cheese.  It was one of the first things I learned to make by myself.  Of course, mine was straight out of the box...chemicals anyone?  This new recipe came to me via the "Engine 2" book.  I read it cover to cover and have adapted this recipe to fit my taste buds.  Now, it is not Paula Dean's creamy dish, it is more like a baked pasta dish.  My kids love it and fight over the left-overs the next day.  I like the fact that it is low in fat and is dairy free.  We serve it with organic unsweetened applesauce on the side (just try a bite of this mac 'n cheese with some applesauce...I dare you), and some steamed green beans or a salad.

Macaroni and Not Cheese:

1 onion, chopped
1 cup cashews
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 ounce jar red roasted peppers, drained
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
16 oz. whole grain elbow pasta, cooked

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute onion on medium heat in a non stick skillet for 5 minutes, until translucent. In a food processor or blender, combine the onion, cashews, lemon juice, water, and salt. Gradually blend in the red peppers, nutritional yeast, garlic salt, onion powder. Thoroughly toss the sauce with the pasta. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

the intentional life

we would do well
to slow down a little
focus on the significant
truly see
the things that matter most

living an intentional life is not easy.  you cannot move through your day on autopilot.  it requires thought, action, time and sometimes taking a stand that displeases those closest to you.  it requires letting go of the silly, superfluous, unimportant things, ideas, and business and making room for all that is thoughtful, meaningful, and life-giving, all that helps us grow and makes us truly strong forces on this planet.  an intentional friend of mine mentioned to me the news she had been hearing about one of the ingredients amy and i use in our recipes here, agave.  it can be chemically processed to the point that it is no more healthy than high fructose corn syrup.  my intentional life calls me to a life that is chemical free, so this issue is important to me.  i believe strongly not only in the link between chemicals in our diet and cancer but between chemicals in our everyday products and the environmental destruction of all that is vitally important to our life!  i take much time researching the companies that produce and sell my shampoo, makeup, clothes, shoes, everything you can name that one might use daily!  when i become overwhelmed and don't have time for the research---but NEED something---i shop at goodwill to participate in re-using and re-purposing.  i also subscribe to a website called MILKSHAKE and one called MILKSHAKE FOR KIDS that do all the research for you!  AND i have been able to communicate with people there directly when i have more questions after reading their articles.  companies rely on the fact that people buy without much thought and are moved by clever advertising.  
i remember when probiotics became popular and companies advertised probiotics in their yogurt, milk, cereal, and other daily ingestables.  probiotics do not retain their potency when they are heated or left unrefrigerated or go through processing of any kind, that is my understanding, so it is unfair for companies to tout that their products with probiotics are more potent or powerful.  the same thing is happening with agave.  it is becoming popular and many companies are processing it in ways that harm the planet and our bodies.  i buy a 'raw' brand that it is my understanding is not chemically processed.  sweeteners are something that healthy people should work toward omitting from their diets altogether, they are truly unnecessary especially as your plant-based  pallet changes and you begin to taste the authentic flavors of your food.  honey is an option to agave but i know some vegans take issue with the raising of bees for this use and that honey is an animal bi-product.  my suggestion  is to do your research, make a decision for the health of yourselves, your families, the planet, a decision that works for you.  below are some links to articles on this subject.  there are so many more out there.  with your life and health, take time and take care...




Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tofu Salsa Dip

I wanted to share a recipe I use weekly, if not daily.  This little dip takes 1 minute to make.  I know, you are already feeling giddy with delight at the sound of that, aren't you?  How I use this dip:  on top of baked potatoes (instead of fat laden butter and salt), on top of tacos (instead of fat laden cheese), on top of homemade chips, on top of veggie enchiladas, in salads...you get the picture.  By adding the tofu it gives it a creamy taste and boosts your protein a smidge.  My carnivorous friends seem to really like it.  Have I sold you yet?  Here it is:

Tofu Salsa Dip
1 package (12.3 oz) Silken Lite Tofu (soft or firm)
1 24oz. container of your favorite salsa (we like Mango peach)

Directions:  Blend.  

See, I told you it was easy.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

coconut water slushies

Coconut water has the same mineral nutrient balance as plasma.  It has loads of essential electrolytes (goodbye gatorade!) including plenty of potassium, magnesium, and calcium (the benefits of which we covered under the recipe for date truffles)  It quickly restores and rehydrates, a necessity on these blistering august days, as opposed to a diet coke or other chemical-laden soda which literally destroys all the beautiful, magical working parts of your insides!  Coconut water is at the local grocery stores now, and in flavors, too, i buy a box of the raw version at my local health food store because they offer a 20% discount when you buy anything in bulk.  I make at least one of these slushies a day, alternating between using the coconut water and just plain ol' water, it's easier on the wallet!  The recipe is easy, the benefits are extreme, but drink it slow so you don't get a 'slurpee headache!'  MIX EVERYTHING IN A BLENDER...

  • favorite fruit or juice (raspberries or a lemon/lime/orange combo or some chunks of mango and pineapple) you can put the fruit in whole or juice the fruit first
  • add a squirt of agave to eliminate tartness
  • coconut water or just plain ol' water
  • loads of ice, i like enough to make it really thick so i can eat it with a spoon, but you can add less and make it more slushy to drink with a straw

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

curry waldorf salad

bright, colorful, crunchy, & sweet, this curry waldorf salad will make you feel the same!  it is the recipe that convinced me i could eat a plant based diet and still thoroughly enjoy my food!  i was not convinced when i watched diana stobo, fellow vegan enthusiast, make it on youtube, until she tasted her own creation at the end and said, "Mmmmmmm" so convincingly!  i said, "fine...i'll try it"...my reaction was identical to hers, i was in a bit of ecstacy!...i loved it, i still love it, it's always a hit whenever i make it and wherever i take it! 
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced...i use 2
  • 4 red radishes, diced 
  • 1⁄4 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1⁄4 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 dates or figs, no pit!  if you don't have dates or figs use a tablespoon of agave or maple syrup
  • 2-4 tablespoons flaxseed oil...we use UDO's CHOICE and i use 1/4 cup
  • 1-3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, i use 3
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder...i use 1 full teaspoon, i love curry!
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

lemon and flax oil and curry have such strong flavors you have to blend the combination that suits you...whisk in a bowl if you are using a syrup to sweeten, mix in a blender if you are using dates or figs to sweeten...


 Last night after the kiddos were in bed, Brad and I watched an inspirational and informative video.  It was thought provoking and we have continued the dialog this morning.  Dr. Michael Greger, from nutritionfacts.org is one man who I have gained so much knowledge from.  He is a doctor, who as he puts it, reads every available medical journal about nutrition so we don't have to.  By the way, have you ever read one of these journals?  Lots of medical terms and scientific mumbo-jumbo that well, you might as well put a paper written in Chinese in front of me.  I have a thirst for knowledge but will be the first to admit I am not an intellect.  Anyway, Dr. Greger has a 2-3 minute video each day that highlights a topic.  I just felt like I HAD to share this recent one.  This video is approx. 56 minutes (which is not the norm for this site).  It is worth each and every minute.  Today, I plan on having my kids watch it.  Yes, some of the info may go over their heads.  But I refuse to dumb down information that they can have to be better individuals. I want to be sure and give them information that helps them make better choices as they grow up.  They are in charge of their own bodies after all.  Dr. Greger is funny.  I wasn't sure what the video would be like because the title of it is, "Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death."  Most of us know people who have heart disease, diabetes, or cancer.  He includes these topics among several others.  The new research out there is crazy cool.  Please, take time to be informed.  Share it.  Live it.  And by all means go eat some Kale.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The temperature registers at 104 degrees today in Boise, Idaho.  One placard read 114 degrees which is mind-blowing.   Either way, I think you could fry an egg on a rock; but alas not me since there are no eggs to be had in my fridge.  There are only downloadable photos of eggs here.   I thought this might be a great post for the summer heat as it is one of my family's favorites.  And no chicks were harmed in the production of this dessert. Come on, I had to say it.   Not only is it easy, but you control the sweetness and the amount of all ingredients.  Here goes:

Frozen HEALTHY Yogurt


1  24-32 oz. non-dairy yogurt (I go for vanilla flavored and whatever is on sale)
2-3 cups frozen fruit (any variety will do, whatever floats your boat)
Agave nectar or maple syrup to sweeten (add a few Tbsp. at a time as not to over sweeten)

Blend in a high powered blender.   If it is too liquidy add more frozen fruit.  If it is too thick add some water or non-dairy milk such as coconut, soy, or almond milk.

We have been known to have this for dinner.  Like tonight, okay nobody judge me! :)  You know you want some too.

we made amy's zucchini cake!  i didn't have the non-dairy cream cheese for the frosting, so i tried silken tofu in it's place...yuck...i opted for a little frosting made with powdered sugar and chocolate hazelnut milk, even though this cake needs no topping at all!  this was tasty out of the oven, not overly sweet, would make a great cake with coffee, and amy was NOT kidding, straight out of the fridge the next day, it is rich and moist and totally delicious, better than fresh from the oven!  with a few more whole oats (1/2 cup or so) and maybe some shredded coconut this recipe would make a great granola bar!  i may try this recipe in the dehydrator (when i get one!)  my toughest critic, age 12, said "this is the BEST healthy dessert you have ever made!"  thank you amy!  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fabulous Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

This is what is left from our Fabulous Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup.  It doesn't last long and is super easy to make.  I will include the recipe below.  But before I do, I wanted to chat about the topic of friendship.  Friendship is very important to the health of our bodies.  I am not talking about the 2,000 "friends" one claims to have on Facebook but real authentic friendships.  I do not have a lot of these types of friends but the few I have are rich and deep and may I say therapeutic.  The kind of friend that will tell you about the broccoli in your teeth, your innate need to seek approval from others that don't really matter, or laugh at your quirky sense of humor.  These authentic relationships take time, investment, and trust.  Sometimes we don't have much of one or any of them at all.  But the need for us to connect in an authentic way is still there.  So, thank you to all those I call friends for investing your time and trust into me, even when the broccoli in my teeth is obnoxious.

Fabulous Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

1 28-oz. can of plum tomatoes
32 oz. water or vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, chopped
1-2 handfuls of cashews
sea salt to taste
Fresh Basil, chopped

Place tomatoes and water in a pan and bring to a boil, add onion, potatoes, and garlic. Once it boils, turn it down and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Place soup in blender (Vita-Mix works wonders) and add cashews. Blend and salt as needed.  Serve with fresh chopped Basil.

Friday, August 3, 2012

i am simply trying to breathe today and be in every single moment while it is happening instead of dwelling on stories from the past that are no longer here or creating stories about the future that have yet and may never be...may you all feel the moments of this day, carefree and without thought of how others perceive you, whether those moments delight or challenge you, live honestly...and smile at someone, my yoga teacher/friend shashi says a smile takes 10 years off your face, i want to be 35 today!  a fruity tasting green drink might help, too!  ;)

Got Greens?

Creepy?  No, green is the new sexy!  This is the love of my life and he loves him a green smoothie.  The other day I had to snap this photo because we had just made green smoothies and we heard a knock at the door.  After visiting with a buddy Brad rejoined us and I asked him, "Did you scare any young children?  Have you seen your pearly greens?"  When he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror I think we laughed until we cried (or peed our pants) whichever comes first these days.

Green smoothies are a great way to get your greens when you are on the go.  I am a big promoter of chewing your greens but this is another alternative.  My kids will ask me for one and it makes my heart do a pitter patter when I see a green mustache on their sweet lips.  Instead of "Got milk?", I want to scream from the roof tops, "Got Greens?"

Let me tell you the basics I put in my green smoothies:

Green Smoothie Basics:
2 cups of water or unsweetened almond milk ( I prefer vanilla) or a combination of both
1 banana
1+ cups frozen fruit ( my kiddos love blueberries because they mask the green color)
Greens (spinach is a fav), fill the rest of the blender with them 

You will not taste the spinach, I promise.  If you doubt me, just start out with a little less greens and work your way up.  Add extra liquid or more frozen fruit if the consistency needs to be tweaked to your satisfaction.

Optional add-ins:
1 scoop protein powder (Vega Vanilla is one of my favorites)
1 tsp ground Amla Powder (from the Indian Gooseberry - Indian stores carry it, it is cheap, and it is off the charts high in antioxidants - give it try.  For more fascinating information about Amla click here
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds  (high in omega 3s, lignans, and fiber)
1 tsp Cinnamon (helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and helps our metabolism, also high in antioxidants)
a little squirt of agave nectar to sweeten the deal (especially for the kiddos)

I blend until my heart is happy...it doesn't take long!